July 31, 1995

High-Ranking Chinese Delegation Examines Employee Ownership

NCEO founder and senior staff member

A delegation of Chinese officials, including the director of the State Commission on Economic Restructuring and several directors of its provincial counterparts, recently completed a three-week tour of the U.S. that included several visits with employee ownership experts and companies.

The NCEO made one of these presentations. The officials indicated that employee ownership is one of the major options they are considering as their economy moves towards a more market-based approach. The largest enterprises in China are currently owned by the central government, but hundreds of thousands of other enterprises, including some very large ones, are owned by local governments. The central government plans to give its enterprises more freedom to make decisions and to sell a minority interest to investors, who could include the employees. Many locally owned enterprises will be sold, and employees could be one of the purchasers. China is not, however, pursuing complete privatization, as in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.